Several of the winning entries in this year's Next Generation Luminaires Design Competition were commercial lighting products with strong crossover potential for the residential sector.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the International Assn. of Lighting Designers (IALD), the sister competition to Lighting For Tomorrow, was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED luminaires for general illumination in commercial lighting applications.
While there’s little doubt that the commercial market has been ahead of residential when it comes to adopting LED technologies, solid-state lighting is slowly gaining a foothold in the high-end residential sector, says Ruth Taylor, Project Manager for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who manages both the NGL and LFT competitions.
“The [NGL] competition definitely has a commercial slant to it but functional products in the commercial market can be used in many residential applications,” Taylor says. “All of the big boys — such as Finelite, Philips, Cree — have products that go both ways.”
Certain categories, such as downlights, under-cabinet, cove, accent and task lighting lend themselves more to residential applications, as opposed to the outdoor and industrial categories which are strictly commercial, she adds.
This year, 47 commercial LED lighting products — more than double last year’s total — were recognized for excellence. Out of 126 entries, coming from 60 different lighting companies, 43 were chosen as “recognized” winners and four were chosen as “best in class.”
The best in class winners came from four manufacturers and covered different areas of lighting:
Finelite, Inc. for its CURVE task lighting fixture
SPI Lighting Inc. for its Stile Styk wall washing fixture
GE Lighting Solutions for its Evolve LED R150 Roadway luminaire for street/roadway
Wide-Lite (a Philips Group brand) for its VizorLED for parking garages
A panel of 12 judges from the architectural lighting design community evaluated the entries based on performance, appearance, construction and submitted photometric data. The panel initially selected 47 products from all of the 126 reviewed as “recognized,” meaning the panel would recommend these products to other specifiers. To be recognized in this category, a product needed to attain at least the judge’s minimum evaluation in all performance categories and to meet or exceed Energy Star® criteria, where applicable.
The best in class winners stood put from the others and ranked at the top of a majority of the evaluation categories. Of the best in class winners, Finelite's CURVE task light, a portable desk lamp producing a useful, rectangular beam of light over task area, can be used in residential settings.
Of the recognized winners, well-known brands in the residential lighting market include Cooper Lighting and Sea Gull Lighting. Sea Gull Lighting’s LED Surface Mount Downlight was recognized for its optic performance and ease of installation. The dimmable LED downlight is a surface mount alternative to recessed lighting and offers substantially more footcandles than deliverable through common recessed fixtures. In addition, the downlight is Energy Star qualified and UL/C-UL listed, and is supported by a five-year warranty.
“We are very excited about this award and believe we have an industry leading product to offer our customers," says Jeff Tartamella, President of Sea Gull Lighting. "There is no better validation than the NGL stamp of approval.”
Four of Cooper Lighting’s products (shown here) were recognized for excellence by NGL competition. The winning products include the company’s Halo Stasis LED track lighting luminaires, the Halo LED 900 recessed downlight series, the Invue LED Entri-wall-mount luminaries and the Streetworks OVH LED Cobrahead roadway luminaire.
“We invest heavily in product development across all of our portfolio of quality brands and these awards validate our commitment to providing sustainable, energy-efficient LED solutions,” says Neil Schrimsher, President of Cooper Lighting.
Pure Lighting's Stratus fixture was also recognized in the wall grazing category, and sister company Edge Lighting was recognized under specialty lighting for its Nautilus LED. And Intense Lighting is another residential crossover manufacturer recognized under downlighting for its SS4 fixture.
For a complete list of winners, visit the NGL Web site.